Century Split (This Week’s Movies)


Billy Crudup, Elle Fanning, Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig, Lucas Jade Zumann: 20th Century Women (courtesy Annapurna Pictures)

Links to my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

20th Century Women. “Too often the dialogue states exactly what it means, as though the characters had been reading self-help books. (I know, I know, it was the 70s.)”

Split. “He might still have a knack for thrillers, even when he doesn’t have a twist up his sleeve.”

The Founder. “A honey of a role for Michael Keaton.”

Early warning: Sunday, March 12th, I’ll be giving a lecture for Historic Seattle called “Shot on Location: Architectural Landmarks on Film.” It’s an afternoon talk at the Northwest Film Forum. More details here.

Movie Diary 1/18/2017

Julieta (Pedro Almodovar, 2016). A melodrama in the Almodovar mode, but a discreet one, which is is interesting. It certainly is good to look at, given the filmmaker’s sure-handedness with color and camera. (full review 1/27)

Gold (Stephen Gaghan, 2016). Very loosely based on a true mining story, this project gives Matthew McConaughey a fat role as a sweaty speculator who finds gold in the Indonesia jungle, with help from a fellow prospector (Edgar Ramirez). A big swing, this one. (full review 1/27)

Movie Diary 1/17/2017

Silence (Martin Scorsese, 2016). A thoughtful and ambitious movie, with a handful of terrific scenes and a lack of overall tautness. It’s not exactly right that the film is about religion – more belief, which is not quite the same thing. A fascinating final ten minutes or so. In a fair world, Issei Ogata would snag a Supporting Actor nomination for his inquisitor role; he’s the Christoph Waltz of the movie.

Split (M. Night Shyamalan, 2016). James McAvoy gets to take it out and chop it up, playing a multiple-personality kidnapper. Ol’ M. Night’s still got a few moves in his arsenal. (full review 1/20)

Movie Diary 1/16/2017

King Kong (Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, 1933). The movie really hasn’t lost anything over the years, I am glad to report. However stiff the exposition scenes can be, once we get to Kong’s domain, it really takes off.

The House on Haunted Hill (William Castle, 1959). It must be said, this is not one of Castle’s more inspired efforts. The voices-in-the-dark bit at the beginning is pretty good, however, and so is Vincent Price. But oy – that skeleton.

Live by Paterson (This Week’s Movies)


Adam Driver, Paterson ((Mary Cybulsky/Amazon Studios & Bleecker Street)

Links my reviews published in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

Paterson. “One of the most pleasurable movies in recent memory.”

Patriots Day. “This is about how things happened, not why things happened.”

Live by Night.”The rushed pace is bad enough, but the characters are ciphers, too.”

Tonight, Jan. 13, the talkers in Framing Pictures re-convene for a conversation at Scarecrow Video. This time it’s the best movies of 2016, so don’t miss it – 7 p.m., and it’s free. Check the FP Facebook page for updates.

Movie Diary 1/10/17

Patriots Day (Peter Berg, 2016). Mark Wahlberg stars in this account of the Boston Marathon bombing, which makes it the second 2016 Berg-Wahlberg collaboration on a true-life disaster. This one is less a spectacle than Deepwater Horizon and more of a procedural. It goes on quite a while. (full review 1/13)

Movie Diary 1/9/2017

Live by Night (Ben Affleck, 2016). A Dennis Lehane novel feels very compressed as a 129-minute gangster picture, the axis of which tilts from Boston to Tampa. The quick, exposition-heavy nature of the writing (Affleck did the adaptation) does not capture a time-spanning sprawl as it is clearly meant to – it movies fast, but it seems slack. It’s a well-dressed movie, anyway. (full review 1/13)

My diary-keeping has been spotty because I was away for five weeks giving lectures on a cruise ship, the Regent Seven Seas Navigator, which traveled from Cape Town to Miami. Thanks to everyone who not only made this happen but also made it very memorable. Now, back to keeping track of movies.